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To Canadian anon of Vietnamese birth.

Prejudice is, but it can also be perceived.

You could prove being a "native English speaker" if your mother tongue was English, even if not a "white" man. I suspect it likely is not if both your parents were Vietnamese and you certainly aren't an "English" native speaker if you spoke your parents' mother tongue if that was not English. Even if all your schooling was in English, and all of your life away from your parents was in English also, your native language is not English. I can be fooled, but I would have to hear you speak to determine how "native" your English sounds. My mother tongue is not English, but a very large portion of English Canadians would never know that I am not. Irrespective of that, I am not a Native English speaker.

If I was the one hiring, I would need to determine what impact not being "white" would have on the clientele, the students. For example, could a particular culture be poorer students being taught Englsih by one of their own (presuming that person speaks excellent English)? I believe there might be a portion of the clientele that would find it more challenging, more work, more effort to learn a new language depending on the person who was the teacher. I also believe that everywhere, varying degrees of lots of people are simply quite limited in their knowledge, understanding, openness of/to the world beyond their extremely small one. That is part of reality. It would take more than you and I, and many more to change that.

Sad, but true.

Another advantage in specifically asking for an English native speaker would be the elimination of a likely extremely large amount of applications.

Make your attempts with schools that don't have that criteria. Good luck.
I think that the term 'native English speaker' is very misleading. I was born and bred in England, am very articulate but had no concept of how to identify or explain the more complicated aspects of the English language until I took my TEFL course. My wife is Brazilian, learned basic English in Brazil, lived in the USA for 10 years and speaks 'native' English with absolutely NO trace of a Brazilian accent - in fact people who meet her (inclcuding Americans) have trouble believing that she is not American. She has been a TEFL teacher for over 25 years, not only in Brazil but also in the UK and the USA (countries where you would expect some resistance to a foreigner teaching the 'mother tongue'). She is incredibly articulate, both technically and colloquially, has a Masters in Applied Linguistics and TEFL and is recognised as one of the top English Language teachers in the state of Bahia. I would defy anyone who did not previously know that she was Brazilian to summise that she was not American. To reject an application from her on the basis that she is not a 'native' English speaker would be ridiculous and a severe misjudgement on the part of a would-be employer as they would be passing up the opportunity of a priceless addition to their staff and denying their students an inspiring, undeniable talent in the TEFL world.

It should be the quality of the language and the teaching that should be important, not where you were born. As a former (native English) TEFL colleague of ours said of her:

" ...what do you mean by "fluência praticamente nativa" ? I think you should get rid of the "praticamente"...You are more fluent than a lot of native speakers I know!!
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In my opinion the phrase 'native speaker of English' gains more relevance when referred to in a specific context such as that of a non-native speaker of English like me, who lived for two thirds of my working life in a non-English speaking country, and all of a sudden my life changed dramatically in the 90s, after the 'Romanian revolution', when I ended up living in UK. I'd started learning English in secondary school up to a graduate level in Romania, and at the age of 25 I followed a career as a successful English linguist, i.e. teaching, translating and interpreting in and out of English. However, when in my early 40s I moved to UK with the intention of settling here, I was faced with a language barrier I'd never anticipated, simply realising that my level of English was not high enough to satisfy my high linguistic needs and aspirations.

At present, despite recently obtaining an MA in English, the language barrier between my mother tongue and English seems to be more present than ever, and I have the feeling that I'm stuck in a no return situation. There is only one hope for me, and that is to continue to study English, and this is actually why I'm writing to this forum: I'd like to do some research on 'How to become a native speaker of English' by challenging anyone who's interested to take part in.

Here I am speaking about launching a study in Englishness at the same time, as, in my opinion, one cannot speak the language of a people without actually becoming one of the people of that country. From my own experience, it is not only the language that poses a problem to me, it is the Englishness itself that is part and parcel of the whole thing, i.e. that state which the native speakers have acquired together with the language and which has shaped them into what they are as a result of acquiring their mother tongue. A language is not only a set of rules, it is a way of thinking and behaving in a particular way, using certain native phrases, idioms and collocations which make sense only in a certain linguistic context, and to which the English speakers are exposed to since the moment they were born. Therefore, if anyone has any illusion that they can 'become' English without mastering those 'charming' idioms and collocations, they will be in for the shock of their lives when they find themselves in a native English society, for example, and they open their mouth for the first time: they will be automatically classed as 'foreign', and there will always be an unsurpassable barrier between them end the English.

Maybe many of you wouldn't mind living in a state of marginalization for the rest of their lives - after all there are people and people, and many non-native English speakers are successful honourable citizens living, working and bringing up their children here in UK, and I respect and admire them for their successful lives. However, I haven't reached that level of happiness yet, and maybe there are many others like me who would like to speak English almost, if not at the same level with the native speakers. I know this may seem idealistic and impossible to attain, but at the moment I feel that there's no other way of finding my happiness than pursuing my linguistic career in English and in UK, and attaining a level of English according to my high standards.

So if you are interested in taking English as a foreign language up to English native speaker level please help me with your ideas, suggestions and English language learning experience after postgraduate level. At the moment I have gathered some learning materials such as: 'Cobuild Dictionary of Idioms', 'Cobuild Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs', 'Oxford Collocations', 'Longman Language Activator', etc,, which I'm going to start studying on my own and see if I can 'push' my English any further, and then write a book about it.

All I need is to find people interested in studying the same materials at the some time with me, and to see if we can take English to a level where we can express our ideas as freely and as naturally as in our native tongues. To me this is the challenge of my life, and I'd like to know that there are other enthusiastic non-native postgraduate students of any age who are ready to embark on, let's say, a one-year self taught course in Englishness.
I find your resolve to become a "native speaker", with no offense intended, obsessive. Already (at least in writing) you have exceeded more than half the world's native English speakers' language skills. Given your aim, you will continue improving your language skills, but will that ever make of you an English native speaker?

One of the downfalls of early bilingualism, is that the child incorporates one language into the other. If left uncorrected, these misuses will be carried over... forever! I have attempted to correct a "borrowed" structure for over a couple of decades now (a specific one) with as much determination as I recongnize in your attempts in becoming a "native speaker". After so many years, I can use the structure correctly, but I find myself having to "think" about it - still! And for the life of me, the words, even if well used, do not connect with my heart: I say the right words, my mind knows that this is the correct way to say it, but my heart (body, self, toes, veins, etc.) does not feel the meaning I wish to express. I am referring to one structure only ( three words) ... not all the other corrections I work on (and those are only the ones I am aware of!)

I trust that your efforts will continue to bear fruit. I wonder if your heart will ever be satisfied?
MonfrancomGiven your aim, you will continue improving your language skills, but will that ever make of you an English native speaker?
With respect, no. Native reminds me of my Latin studies. The word is related to the Latin nasci, "to be born". A native speaker of English is, to me anyway, a person of whose parents at least one spoke the language, or who learned English as his first language in an English-speaking environment. One cannot become a native speaker of any language at a later stage in one's life. Becoming a native speaker is impossible.

Of course it is possible to acquire such an excellent command of a foreign language that one speaks the language virtually as well as a native speaker. Not all native speakers have a phenomenal knowledge of their native language.Emotion: smile However, for this to happen, one has to spend years, in many cases dozens of years, in a country where the desired language is spoken.

CB
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Hey CB

It was a rhetorical question. Read Post :399013 for example.

The example I use in Post :427999 is actually a French structure (my mother tongue) that I am trying, with little success considering my effort, to learn. This means the English structure connects far better for me than the French one, which I learnt later in life.

I am bilingual. I live in Québec. There are unilingual francophones and unilingual anglophones as well... right at my door step (less of the former). I have yet to hear an anglophone speaking French and not recongnize origin within the first or second word. Some time back, I have given up trying to decide if that person speaking English is a francophone or an anglophone, as SO MANY francophones speak English SO WELL, I simply can't tell if they are native speakers or not. This phenomena is also a common one for English speakers... even with me. They don't KNOW that I am a native French speaker. Of course, some can tell right away, or soon after I have spoken!!! Following my college/university studies (approximately 65% of which were done in French) and my work experience (in French) it became easier for more anglophones, and francophones as well, to recongnize my origins. It's in the accent.

But his is local. If I lived in Saskatchewan say, or Alberta, within a couple of weeks not a one of them would know without my telling them that I am French.

Some Canadians are emphatic in identifying themselves as bilingual: not French, not English.

Cool Breeze
MonfrancomGiven your aim, you will continue improving your language skills, but will that ever make of you an English native speaker?
With respect, no. Native reminds me of my Latin studies. The word is related to the Latin nasci, "to be born". A native speaker of English is, to me anyway, a person of whose parents at least one spoke the language, or who learned English as his first language in an English-speaking environment. One cannot become a native speaker of any language at a later stage in one's life. Becoming a native speaker is impossible.

Of course it is possible to acquire such an excellent command of a foreign language that one speaks the language virtually as well as a native speaker. Not all native speakers have a phenomenal knowledge of their native language.Emotion: smile However, for this to happen, one has to spend years, in many cases dozens of years, in a country where the desired language is spoken.

CB
I would propose to include people who have attained an equivalent level of proficiency in the said language, in your definition for native speakers. This is a practical consideration, for those job openings I would believe actual skill to be an equally important criteria; after all, with a broad interpretation it is well possible to be a 'lousy' native speaker of any language.
In Malaysia, where the place I was born and live from small, Science and Maths are being tought in English and as second language. It can be used for official purposes and goverment letters and so on eventough Malay is the official language, just like Philliphines and Singapore. Eventough I'm not a native speaker of English, but I dont see any big problem in English at Malaysia since it is being tought at school and university and the ligua franca of bussiness.
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This is exactly the question I want to ask. How do you define native speaker of english?

I grew up in Australia but I wasnt born there. I moved there when I was 11 from a non english speaking country.

My english is fluent and most of my education is done in Australia.

Am I a native english speaker? I want to go teach english overseas and 1 of the requirements is you have to be a native speaker of english.

Do I qualify to be a native speaker of english?

Its ridiculous if I dont qualify to teach english overseas when I have a teaching degree and can teach here in Australia.
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